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|Location||Formosa, Qing Taiwan (Taiwan Prefecture, Fujian Province, Qing dynasty)|
|Victim||54 Ryukyuan sailors|
The Mudan incident of 1871 (Chinese :八瑤灣事件) was the massacre of 54 Ryūkyūan sailors in Qing-era Taiwan who wandered into the central part of Taiwan after their ship was shipwrecked.
12 survivors were rescued by Han Chinese and were later returned to Miyako Island in the Ryukyus. However, because the Ryukyu Kingdom was in the Qing sphere of influence as well as the Japanese sphere of influence, the massacre was used as a pretext for Japan to eventually annex the Ryukyu Kingdom in 1879. Japan sent a military force to Taiwan in the Taiwan Expedition of 1874 in retaliation for the death of "Japanese nationals." The Mudan incident supposedly showed the weakness of Qing control over Eastern Taiwan, thus opening the door to Japan questioning the Qing dynasty's regional sovereignty.
Shipwrecks during this time period were common. Between 1701 and 1876, 278 Ryukyuan ships were wrecking along China's coast, with more than Ryukyuan shipwrecks along Taiwan's coast alone.On November 30, 1871 four Ryukyuan tributary ships left the capital of Shuri, on Okinawa island, homebound for Miyako island and the Yaeyama islands (both in the Southern part of the Ryukyu Kingdom). However, before reaching home the four ships were blown off course and hit by a typhoon on December 12, 1871. Of the two ships bound for Yaeyama, one was lost and the other landed on Taiwan's west coast. Of the two Miyakojima bound ships, one made it back to Miyako, the other— whose sailors would later be the ones killed by natives— was shipwrecked off the coast of Southeastern Taiwan near Bayao Bay. There were 69 sailors on the shipwrecked vessel, three of whom died trying to get to shore.
On December 17, 1871, the remaining 66 Ryukyuan passengers managed to get onto shore and reportedly met two Chinese men who warned them against traveling inland for fear of encountering the Paiwan people— who the men reported were dangerous.Survivor's testimony also states that the sailors were robbed by the Chinese and afterwards parted ways with the men.
On the morning of December 18, the Ryukyuans set out westward and thus encountered, presumably, the Paiwan people, who subsequently brought the Ryukyuans to Kuskus village and provided them with food, water, and housing for the evening.Testimony from survivors again states that they were robbed during the night, this time by their Kuskus hosts. The next day, under orders to stay in place while locals went hunting, the Ryukyuans tried to leave while the hunters were gone. As stated by historian Paul Barclay: "The presence of so many armed men, coupled with the rumors of head hunting that had greeted them on shore two days earlier, impelled them [the Ryukyuans] to make a break for it while the hunting party was absent."
Many of the Ryukyuans sheltered in the home of Deng Tianbao ("Old Weng" in survivor's testimony), an elderly Hakka trading post operator.However, on the same day, Paiwan men found the Ryukyuans in Deng's home, and dozens were killed outside of it, several more Ryukyuans were captured while fleeing and killed then. 54 of the 66 Ryukyuans were killed in the massacre, nine managed to stay hidden in Deng's house, while three who escaped were captured by other Paiwanese people.
The nine survivors at Deng's house were moved to a larger Hakka compound, Poliac (Baoli), where they were taken care of by the village head Yang Youwang.Yang Youwang was also Deng Tianbao's son-in-law. Yang also arranged ransom for the three escapees in Paiwan hands, and ultimately sheltered the 12 surviving Ryukyuans for about 40 days. The survivors were then sent to Taiwan-fu (modern-day Tainan), later taken to Fuzhou, and then returned to Naha in July 1872.
|Name||Name of origin||Assignment||Address||Fate and others|
|Nakasone Gen-an||Chudo||Head of a large community||Hirara of Miyakojima||Killed, Huge body carried by two persons|
|Tanahara Gen-ei||Chudo||Head of a township||Hirara of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Hoeshige Genkan||Chudo||Head of a township||Hirara of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Takaesu Yoshiyo||Mazoku||Head of a township||Hirara of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Okudaira Niya||Unknown||Assistant head of a township||Hirara of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Takaesu Niya||Unknown||Assistant head of a township||Hirara of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Tanahira Genkyo||Chudo||Secretary||Hirara of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Hoeshige Genkei||Chudo||Secretary||Hirara of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Takaesu Niya||Unknown||Secretary||Hirara of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Hirara Keisei||Shirakawa||Secretary||Hirara of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Tsukayama Keigo||Shirakawa||Secretary||Hirara of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Soeishi Niya||Unknown||Secretary||Hirara of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Inafuku Niya||Unknown||Secretary||Hirara of Miyako||Killed|
|Takahara Niya||Unknown||Secretary||Hirara of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Aniya Yoshimasa||Mazoku||Secretary||Hirara of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Yamauchi Niya||Unknown||Secretary||Hirara of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Yamauchi Niya||Unknown||Secretary||Hirara of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Shitahaku Niya||Unknown||Secretary||Hirara of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Ikemura Niya||Unknown||Makata Secretary||Hirara of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Magtsukawa Kin||None||Lower servant (head)||Hirara of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Maekawa Yashin||None||Servant (head)||Hirara of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Hamakawa Kin||None||Servant (head)||Hirara of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Maedomari Kin||None||Servant (head)||Hirara of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Futenma Kin||None||Servant (head)||Irabujima of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Sakumoto Keiza||None||Servant (head)||Irabujima of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Ikema Kin||None||Servant (head)||Irabujima of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Nakachiya Makoto||None||Servant (head)||Irabujima of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Nagahama Kama||None||Servant (head)||Hirara of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Uchima Ka-a-ryou||None||Servant (head)||Hirara of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Uchima Yashin||None||Servant (head)||Hirara of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Kawamitsu Kin||None||Servant (assistant)||Shimojimura of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Maesato Kama||None||Servant (assiatant)||Shirabejima of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Shimajiri Chabu||None||Servant (assistant)||Simojimura of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Nobara Tsuro||None||Servant (assistant)||Shimojimura of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Sakugawa Matsu||None||Servant (assistant)||Shimojimura of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Kawamitsu Kin||None||Servant (assistant)||Shimojishima of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Oyadomari Niya||Unknown||Samurai class follower (head)||Hirara of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Karimata Niya||Unknown||Samurai class follower (head)||Hirara of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Karimata Niya||Unknown||Samurai class follower (head)||Hirara of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Sunagawa Niya||Unknown||Samurai class follower (head)||Shimojimura of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Matsukawa Niya||Unknown||Samurai class follower||Hirara of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Kataesu Niya||Unknown||Samurai class follower||Hirara of Miyakoima||Killed|
|Okuhira Niya||Unknown||Samurai class follower||Hirara of Miyakojima||Killed|
|Shinjo Choken||Unknown||Getting a lift||Shuri of Okinawa||Killed|
|Miyagi Mototaka||Unknown||Getting a lift||Shuri of Okinawa||Killed|
|Taba Kame||None||Getting a lift||Shuri of Okinawa||Killed|
|Aragaki Bou||None||Getting a lift||Shuri of Okinawa||Killed|
|Nakamatsu Bou||None||Getting a lift||Shuri of Okinawa||Killed|
|Iha Hiroyuki||Unknown||Getting a lift||Naha of Okinawa||Killed|
|Matsuda Kame||None||Getting a lift||Naha of Okinawa||Killed|
|Aragaki Niou||Unknown||Getting a lift||Naha of Okinawa||Killed|
|Nakankadari Kame||None||Getting a lift||Naha of Okinawa||Killed|
|Iju Kame||None||Getting a lift||Naka-atama||Killed|
|Nakasone Matsu||None||Getting a lift||Nakijin of Okinawa||Killed|
|Shimabukuro Jiryou||None||Unknown||Shuri of Okinawa||Alive, father of Shimabukuro Kame|
|Shimabukuro Kame||None||Unknown||Shuri of Okinawa||Alive, died in 1926 at age 76, left documents|
|Jabana Jiryou||None||Unknown||Shuri of Okinawa||Alive, Interpreter in Chinese characters|
|Nakamoto Kana||None||Unknown||Shuri of Okinawa||Alive|
|Tokeiji Matsu||None||Unknown||Naha of Okinawa||Alive|
|Shimajiri Yonabaaru||None||Unknown||Naha of Okinawa||Alive|
|Zashiki Bou||None||Unknown||Kerama||Alive, boatman|
|Hirara Niya||Unknown||Unknown||Miyakojima||Alive, in exchange for a cow|
|Urasaki Kin||None||Unknown||Miyakojima||Alive, in exchange for clothing|
Shimabukuro Kame (1850–1926) was a survivor and an important informant concerning the incident and victims. His father and he were lower class peichin without salary living at Shuri, Okinawa; there were 5 victims living at Shuri, and they were being given a lift on the ship. In 1872, his father and he were interviewed by the Ryukyu government. After the abolition of the clan, what they did was not known. In 1925, Kame sent a letter to Iha Fuyū who introduced Teruya Hiroshi who gave the address of rescuers, since Kame wanted to thank them. Teruya Hiroshi was deeply moved and after the addresses of Miyako victims were investigated by Motomura Choryo, the names of the victims were engraved into the tombs of both Taiwan and Naha.
Teruya Hiroshi (1875–1934) was born in Naha and studied at Daiichi Higher School and Tokyo University. He became a train engineer in Taiwan and later became the Mayor of Naha.
Motomura Choryo (1876–1937) was the town head of Hirara between 1917 and 1919. He gave information on Miyako victims.
"Although it became a truism among Japanese officials and subsequent chroniclers that Paiwanese Mudan villagers murdered the seafarers, residents of Kuskus, today known as Gaoshifo, were the assailants."The title of "The Mudan Incident" remains a misnomer due to this.
A very real consequence of the Mudan Incident however, was the Taiwan Expedition of 1874. Despite the Ryukyu Kingdom being an independent state at the time, the Japanese government eventually demanded that the Qing government be responsible for the actions of the Paiwan, which the Qing government dismissed, on the grounds that "civilization had not been extended to the region."The Ryukyu Kingdom court itself did not lobby Japanese officials to step in on their behalf for the victims of the shipwreck, in fact the Ryukyu court sent a reward to Chinese officials in Fuzhou for the safe return of the twelve survivors. According to Professor Matayoshi Seikiyo, the Mudan incident was historically important for two reasons: it resulted in the "verdict that the Ryukyu islands belonged to Japan," and it "served as a stepping stone for the later occupation and colonization of Taiwan by Japan."
Japanese officials launched the invasion of Taiwan in 1874 in name of avenging the deaths of the 54 deceased Ryukyuans.
Most local, indigenous accounts of the Mudan Incident have been overshadowed by larger state narratives from Japan for two reasons: Ryukyuan languages do not have a writing system, and neither does Paiwanese. For this reason, oral tradition in the form of oral histories, testimonies, and depositions are utilized in both the Ryukyuan and Paiwan cases.
Language also may have played a role in the incident itself. According to local Paiwan historian Valjeluk Mavalju, the offering of water by the Kuskus residents were a local symbol that offered protection and friendship.“In Paiwan tribal tradition, drinking water offered by a stranger means agreeing to peaceful engagement between equals. But the abrupt disappearance breached that agreement, turning guests into enemies.” The unfamiliar circumstances may have attributed to the Ryukyuans fleeing Kuskus, the language barrier between the Ryukyuans and Paiwan likely attributed to this misunderstanding.
Scholars of Taiwan and Okinawa such as Yang Meng-che, Matayoshi Seikiyo, Lianes Punanang, as well as local historians such as Valjeluk Mavalju have sought to re-examine the Mudan Incident through use of local oral histories, consideration of geopolitics of the time, and recenter both Paiwan people and Ryukyuans, not just as a precursor to the 1874 invasion.
According to Lianes Punanang: “On the whole, both my people and our Miyako counterparts were victims, but the sad thing is that their descendants have had to wait for 140 years to be able to talk about what reportedly happened.”Reconciliation visits between descendants of the Miyako/ Ryukyuan sailors and Paiwan descendants have been taking place since 2004.
The Japanese expedition army established a memorial tower in front of the tomb where Taiwanese rescuers made, and collected skulls, 44 skulls; 10 skulls could not be recovered. The skulls were transferred first to Nagasaki and then to Naha and buried there and later at Gokoku-ji (Okinawa) in the same city. In 1980, the tomb was made again anew, and related people attended the ceremony from Miyako Island. The tombstone however has been criticized by Paiwan and Okinawans as having a Japan-centric view, as well as being anachronistic.In 1997, Fumio Miyakuni visited the related places and wrote a book.
Okinawa Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located on the Ryukyu Islands. Okinawa Prefecture has a population of 1,457,162 and has a geographic area of 2,281 km2.
The Ryukyuan people, also Lewchewan or Loochooan, are an East Asian ethnic group native to the Ryukyu Islands, which stretch between the islands of Kyushu and Taiwan. Administratively, they live in either the Okinawa Prefecture or the Kagoshima Prefecture within Japan. Their languages make up the Ryukyuan languages, considered to be one of the two branches of the Japonic language family, the other being Japanese and its dialects. Hachijō is sometimes considered to constitute a third branch.
The Sakishima Islands are an archipelago located at the southernmost end of the Japanese Archipelago. They are part of the Ryukyu Islands and include the Miyako Islands and the Yaeyama Islands. The islands are administered as part of Okinawa Prefecture, Japan.
The Ryukyuan languages, also Lewchewan languages, are the indigenous languages of the Ryukyu Islands, the southernmost part of the Japanese archipelago. Along with the Japanese language, they make up the Japonic language family. The languages are not mutually intelligible with each other. It is not known how many speakers of these languages remain, but language shift towards the use of Standard Japanese and dialects like Okinawan Japanese has resulted in these languages becoming endangered; UNESCO labels four of the languages "definitely endangered" and two others "severely endangered".
This article is about the history of the Ryukyu Islands southwest of the main islands of Japan.
The Ryukyu Kingdom was a kingdom in the Ryukyu Islands from 1429 to 1879.
The Paiwan are an indigenous people of Taiwan. They speak the Paiwan language. In 2014, the Paiwan numbered 96,334. This was approximately 17.8% of Taiwan's total indigenous population, making them the second-largest indigenous group.
Iha Fuyū was the father of Okinawaology and a Japanese scholar who studied various aspects of Japanese and Okinawan culture, customs, linguistics, and lore. His signature was Ifa Fuyu in English, because of the Okinawan pronunciation. Iha studied linguistics in the University of Tokyo and was devoted to the study of Okinawan linguistics, folklore, and history. His most famous book on the subject, Ko Ryūkyū, was published in 1911 and remains one of the best works on Okinawan studies. He devoted much time to the discovery of the origins of Okinawan people to establish their history. He had considerable influence not only on the study of Okinawan folklore but also of Japanese folklore.
Miyakojima is a city jurisdiction located on several islands in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan.
The Japanese punitive expedition to Taiwan in 1874, referred to in Japan as the Taiwan Expedition and in Taiwan and China as the Mudan incident, was a punitive expedition launched by the Japanese in retaliation for the murder of 54 Ryukyuan sailors by Paiwan aborigines near the southwestern tip of Taiwan in December 1871. The success of the expedition, which marked the first overseas deployment of the Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy, revealed the fragility of the Qing dynasty's hold on Taiwan and encouraged further Japanese adventurism. Diplomatically, Japan's embroilment with China in 1874 was eventually resolved by a British arbitration under which Qing China agreed to compensate Japan for property damage. Some ambiguous wording in the agreed terms were later argued by Japan to be confirmation of Chinese renunciation of suzerainty over the Ryukyu Islands, paving the way for de facto Japanese incorporation of Ryukyu in 1879.
The Ryukyu Islands, also known as the Nansei Islands or the Ryukyu Arc, are a chain of Japanese islands that stretch southwest from Kyushu to Taiwan: the Ōsumi, Tokara, Amami, Okinawa, and Sakishima Islands, with Yonaguni the westernmost. The larger are mostly high islands and the smaller mostly coral. The largest is Okinawa Island.
Shō Tai was the last king of the Ryukyu Kingdom and the head of the Ryukyu Domain. His reign saw greatly increased interactions with travelers from abroad, particularly from Europe and the United States, as well as the eventual end of the kingdom and its annexation by Japan as Ryukyu Domain. In 1879, the deposed king was forced to relocate to Tokyo. In May 1885, in compensation, he was made a Kōshaku, the second tier of nobility within the Kazoku peerage system.
Nakasone Tuimiya, also Nakasone Tuyumya(active c. 1500–1530) was a Ryūkyūan Chieftain and later Anji of the Miyako Islands credited with repelling an invasion from Ishigaki Island, and expanding Miyako political control over some of the Yaeyama Islands. When the Miyako Islands were attacked by the Ryūkyū Kingdom, Nakasone saved the people of Miyako from harm by agreeing to surrender to annexation by the Kingdom.
Shō Yūkō Ginowan ueekata Chōho, also known more simply as Giwan Chōho, was a Ryukyuan government official and emissary; at the time of the Meiji Restoration in Japan, he was a member of the Sanshikan, the Council of Three top government ministers in the Ryūkyū Kingdom.
The Formosa Expedition, or the Taiwan Expedition of 1867, was a punitive expedition launched by the United States against Formosa. The expedition was undertaken in retaliation for the Rover incident, in which the Rover, an American bark, had been wrecked and its crew massacred by aboriginal Paiwan warriors in March 1867. A United States Navy and Marine company landed in southern Formosa and attempted to advance into the native village. The natives deployed a significant amount of guerrilla warfare, which they ambushed, skirmished, disengaged and retreated repeatedly. Eventually, the Marines ceased their pursuit when their commander was killed and retreated back to their ship due to fatigue and heat exhaustion, with the Formosans dispersing and retreating back into the jungle. The action is regarded as an American failure.
Kanzen Teruya (1920–2004) was a physician who contributed much to the Okinawan medical world in postwar days. He reported a mass Cycas revoluta poisoning in people living in Miyakojima Island in 1956. He later became professor at the University of the Ryukyus (1978–1985).
The Ryukyu Domain was a short-lived domain of Japan, lasting from 1872 to 1879, before becoming the current Okinawa Prefecture and other islands at the Pacific edge of the East China Sea.
Ueno German Culture Village is a theme park in Miyakojima, Okinawa. It is located in Ueno district.
The military of the Ryukyu Kingdom defended the kingdom from 1429 until 1879. It had roots in the late army of Chūzan, which became the Ryukyu Kingdom under the leadership of King Shō Hashi. The Ryukyuan military operated throughout the Ryukyu Islands, the East China Sea, and elsewhere that Ryukyuan ships went. Ryukyu primarily fought with other Ryukyuan kingdoms and chiefdoms, but also Japanese samurai from Satsuma Domain and pirates. Soldiers were stationed aboard ships and Ryukyuan fortifications. The Ryukyuan military declined after the 17th century.
Ryūkyū Disposition, also Disposition of the Ryūkyūs, dispositions relating to the Ryūkyūs, Ryukyu Annexation or Annexation of Okinawa, was the political process during the early years of the Meiji period that saw the incorporation of the former Ryūkyū Kingdom into the Empire of Japan as Okinawa Prefecture and its decoupling from the Chinese tributary system. These processes began with the creation of Ryūkyū Domain in 1872 and culminated in the kingdom's annexation and final dissolution in 1879; immediate diplomatic fallout and consequent negotiations with Qing China, brokered by Ulysses S. Grant, effectively came to an end late the following year. The term is also sometimes used more narrowly in relation to the events and changes of 1879 alone. The Ryūkyū Disposition has been "alternatively characterized as aggression, annexation, national unification, or internal reform".